API Test kit issue - Cant tell difference between 5 and 10ppm color?
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:01 AM   #1
plantastic37
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API Test kit issue - Cant tell difference between 5 and 10ppm color?


Addendum: Actually cant tell difference between 10 and 20ppm.

Nitrate Test Kit.

They seem identical to me on my card?!

I mean I kinda need to know.

Thanks for any help anyone can provide on this.

Last edited by plantastic37; 07-14-2013 at 02:12 AM.. Reason: Mistake
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:18 AM   #2
Diana
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Which test?
Is it a problem that the colors on the card are hard to tell apart?
Sometimes you get faulty cards, where the colors are printed wrong. Go online to API or google images and see if your card matches what you see on your monitor (or pretty close)

If it is a problem with the method not showing different colors in the test tube:
Shake the bottles of reagent REALLY WELL. I shake all of them if it has been a while since I have used them, and the ones that instruct you to shake get shaken even better.
Hold the test tube against a soft white background with really good light. Be careful of other colors in the room. For example, one test turns a subtle green. I hold the test tubes near a window for good light, but they pick up some green from the trees, so that test when I am looking for green cannot be read near a window.

And last, do a 50% water change, then test again. Depends on what you are testing and what is in the refill water, but that will often reduce toxins, no matter what they were.


If it is a problem with your water here is a way to see a slightly different color:

Method 1)
Use only half the amount of tank water, but the full dose of reagent(s). Then divide the answer by 2.

Method 2)
Use half tank water + half RO or distilled. Then multiply the answer by 2.
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:24 AM   #3
jkpedrita
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Ha me too! I assume you are talking about the nitrates. 5 and 10 look identical to each other. And the 20 and 30, to my eye, are identical as well.
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkpedrita View Post
Ha me too! I assume you are talking about the nitrates. 5 and 10 look identical to each other. And the 20 and 30, to my eye, are identical as well.
Yes cant believe I did not put that in the title. I was too hasty. Sorry at work and trying to multitask.
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Which test?
Is it a problem that the colors on the card are hard to tell apart?
Sometimes you get faulty cards, where the colors are printed wrong. Go online to API or google images and see if your card matches what you see on your monitor (or pretty close)

If it is a problem with the method not showing different colors in the test tube:
Shake the bottles of reagent REALLY WELL. I shake all of them if it has been a while since I have used them, and the ones that instruct you to shake get shaken even better.
Hold the test tube against a soft white background with really good light. Be careful of other colors in the room. For example, one test turns a subtle green. I hold the test tubes near a window for good light, but they pick up some green from the trees, so that test when I am looking for green cannot be read near a window.

And last, do a 50% water change, then test again. Depends on what you are testing and what is in the refill water, but that will often reduce toxins, no matter what they were.


If it is a problem with your water here is a way to see a slightly different color:

Method 1)
Use only half the amount of tank water, but the full dose of reagent(s). Then divide the answer by 2.

Method 2)
Use half tank water + half RO or distilled. Then multiply the answer by 2.
Nitrate kit. Thanks for the info.
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:58 AM   #6
MiSo
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yeah, 5 and 10 are pretty much the same color to me.
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:04 AM   #7
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Amateurs! I don't use any test kits. I take a gulp of tank water by hand, swirl it back and forth in my mouth and spit it back into the tank.
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingHellFish View Post
Amateurs! I don't use any test kits. I take a gulp of tank water by hand, swirl it back and forth in my mouth and spit it back into the tank.
Lol!

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Old 07-14-2013, 02:09 AM   #9
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The color shading difference between 5 & 10 ppm in the nitrate section of the API color chart is really quite subtle. It's possible your eyes cannot differentiate that subtlety. Have a couple of other family members or friends have a look too, if you haven't already done that. Seriously, many people have that difficulty (I won't call it a problem), without at all being 'colorblind'.
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:11 AM   #10
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Im sorry I actually meant to write the difference between the 10 and the 20 ppm
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:13 AM   #11
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You're absolutely right. There seems to be no difference between the 10 and 20 ppm colors on the chart.
Be that as it may, whether you have 10 or 20 ppm of nitrates in your water should make little or no difference to most fish species.
Why are you concerned - is it a matter of plant or algae development, or something else, that you wish to deal with ?
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
You're absolutely right. There seems to be no difference between the 10 and 20 ppm colors on the chart.
Be that as it may, whether you have 10 or 20 ppm of nitrates in your water should make little or no difference to most fish species.
Why are you concerned - is it a matter of plant or algae development, or something else, that you wish to deal with ?
For plant growth. Target is 10ppm nitrate over that could lead to algae issues no.
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:21 PM   #13
hedge_fund
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Get a Sera Test kit which is sold by one of the sponsors on here. You actually get 4 different agents that you have to mix and it seems pretty accurate.

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Old 07-14-2013, 04:05 PM   #14
dmagerl
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Many years ago, there used to be a difference between the colors and anyone that has the old color cards from back then are thankful they didnt throw them out.

I'm convinced API changed card vendors and the new vendor cant reproduce the colors correctly.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:41 PM   #15
Diana
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I do not try to target it that closely. Anything under 20 is fine with me. Any darker (again, I do not care how dark) and I do a water change, then test again. I usually do a big enough water change that no matter how dark the NO3 was it is gone.

To target that closely, yes, see if a different brand of test is more fine tuned in that range.
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